Mixed martial arts league UFC is launching a fan token this June. A year after it first partnered with sports-focused blockchain platform Chiliz, the two will mint $UFC on the Chiliz blockchain.
Chiliz and its token platform Socios.com have primarily focused on European soccer teams, enabling them to mint their own fan tokens. Those tokens are used by supporters to cast votes on club decisions and act as an additional revenue stream for teams. Now, so will the UFC.
$UFC will give holders access to VIP rewards, exclusive promotions, chat forums and fan voting. Similar tokens are already used by soccer clubs like FC Barcelona and Manchester City.
“UFC has more than 625 million fans around the world, and Fan Tokens are a unique way to connect with them through a compelling, authentic product that brings them closer to UFC and gives them influence, while also rewarding their passion for the sport," said Tracey Bleczinski, Senior Vice President, UFC Global Consumer Products.
The launch comes amid a push to expand further outside of Europe by Chiliz and Socios.com. Chiliz has committed to focusing on bringing fan tokens to the U.S. this year, devoting at least $50 million to state-side projects.
However, this particular development grew out of a partnership announced last year, which enabled holders of Chiliz native token, $CHZ, to receive exclusive UFC offers. At the time, the UFC said it would explore blockchain applications that could help grow the UFC brand.
Last week, Chiliz announced a similar partnership with the National Hockey League's (NHL) New Jersey Devils. Though the deal is currently a marketing partnership, the Devils are also exploring how blockchain applications could grow the club's brand.